Should you need urgent health advice please contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency please visit A&E or call 999
Waterpipes, also known as shisha or hookahs, are mainly used to smoke fruit-flavoured tobacco, but sometimes herbal mixtures are used instead of tobacco. Waterpipes were traditionally used in the Middle East and Africa and some parts of Asia, but they are now becoming more popular in the UK. Smokers inhale flavoured tobacco through a long pipe attached to a water bowl.
More research is needed to tell us exactly how smoking shisha affects health, but there are some things we know for sure. Research has shown that levels of carbon monoxide for shisha smoke are 35 times higher than cigarette smoke. It also contains higher levels of other toxic or cancer-causing chemicals. This means second-hand shisha smoke is just as bad as second-hand cigarette smoke. It could even be worse. This is why it’s against the law to smoke shisha in public buildings like cafes or bars.
Just as with cigarettes, it is against the law to sell tobacco shisha to anyone under the age of 18, or for an adult to buy shisha for someone under 18.
If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.
Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.
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